Wednesday, September 27, 2017

100 Best Canadian Films – Dan Browne

A regular fixture of the Toronto experimental film scene (I think we first met at Early Monthly Segments), Dan Browne has been a well-respected and prolific multimedia artist since his student days at Ryerson University in 2004, having presented his work in galleries, exhibitions and festivals both locally and abroad. His newest piece Palmerston Blvd. just premiered at Wavelengths and I personally have a soft spot for The Water Suite, which played outside of my condo. Browne's website and vimeo account are a treasure trove of his works, and I tend to agree with his claim that there isn’t enough writing on Canadian experimental cinema, which this list helps to remedy. Let’s hope someone takes that on as a future project.
100 Best Canadian Films is an open series of personal surveys of the history of Canadian cinema. Other lists includes those by Réalisatrices Équitables and Films Fatales Montréal, Helen Faradji, Fabrice Montal, Stephen Broomer, Paul Corupe, David L. Pike, Jerry White, André Loiselle, Paul WilliamsGreg Klymkiw, Pat MullenJason AndersonDaniel KremerYves Lever, Piers HandlingMarcel JeanMike Hoolboom and myself. Please let me know if you’re interested in contributing. – D.D.
I made a ‘Top 100 Films’ list many years ago in response to the American Film Institute’s “100 Greatest” list—unfortunately I’ve since lost it, which is too bad because it was written by a different person, and I would love to know what was on there. However, without looking at the earlier list, I can point out two main differences with this one. First, the films and videos gathered here reflect the maturation of my interests in cinema as an artistic medium. As a result, there is not much narrative to be found, and the inclusion of many short form works points to their equivalence with (and potential superiority to) feature-length formats. Second, and perhaps more important, the majority of filmmakers included here are people whom I know personally. This personal connection has become, for me, one of the most profound aspects of sharing moving images. I think considering art as analogous to food can yield productive insights—for instance, certain films/meals are enjoyed best when consumed closest to the source, their images/tastes most nourishing when encountered within their community of origin. With this truth in mind, context becomes a feature, not a bug. Finally, I should point out that nearly half the films on this list were made after the year 2000, and while this ratio is a result of my own personal timeline, it also supports my belief that we are in a golden age for moving images today, especially in the realm of non-narrative personal cinema. Hopefully, some readers may be intrigued enough to seek out some of these works and their makers. Many are available online for free! Thanks for the invitation to contribute. – D.B.

Dan Browne’s 100 Best Canadian Films
1. Begone Dull Care (1949), Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart.
2. Neighbours (1952), Norman McLaren.
3. Very Nice, Very Nice (1961), Arthur Lipsett.
4. Lines Horizontal (1962), Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart.
5. 21-87 (1964), Arthur Lipsett.
6. Water Sark (1965), Joyce Wieland.
7. Wavelength (1967), Michael Snow.
8. Palace of Pleasure (1966-67), John Hofsess.
9. Rat Life and Diet in North America (1968), Joyce Wieland.
10. Pas De Deux (1968), Norman McLaren.
11. Circle (1968-69), Jack Chambers.
12. VTR St-Jacques (1969), Bonnie Sherr Klein.
13. The Ballad of Crowfoot (1969), Willie Dunn.
14. Reason Over Passion (1969), Joyce Wieland.
15. Treefall (1970), David Rimmer.
16. The Hart of London (1970), Jack Chambers.
17. La Region Centrale (1971), Michael Snow.
18. North of Superior (1971), Graeme Ferguson.
19. Variations on a Cellophane Wrapping (1972), David Rimmer.
20. 98.3 KHz: Bridge at Electrical Storm (1973), Al Razutis.
21. Les Ordres (1974), Michel Brault.
22. Spiral (1974), Sorel Etrog.
23. 'Rameau's Nephew' by Diderot (Thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen (1974), Michael Snow.
24. The Book of All the Dead (1975-1994), R. Bruce Elder
25. Atmosphere (1976), Chris Gallagher.
26. Down On Me (1980), John Porter.
27. Toy Catalogue (1981-2010), John Porter.
28. Seeing in the Rain (1981), Chris Gallagher.
29. So Is This (1982), Michael Snow.
30. A and B in Ontario (1984), Joyce Wieland and Hollis Frampton.
31. Everything Everywhere Alive Again (1984), Keith Lock.
32. Beach Events (1985), Rick Hancox.
33. Primiti Too Taa (1986), Colin Morton and Ed Ackerman.
34. A Life (1986), Frank Cole.
35. White Museum (1986), Mike Hoolboom. 
36. Cruel Rhythm (1991), Richard Kerr.
37. Manufacturing Consent (1992), Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick.
38. Girl From Moush (1993), Gariné Torosian.
39. Picture of Light (1994), Peter Mettler.
40. Cube (1995), Vincenzo Natali.
41. Hard Core Logo (1996), Bruce McDonald.
42. The Book of Praise (1997- ), R. Bruce Elder.
43. Imprint (1997), Louise Borque.
44. Last Night (1998), Don McKellar.
45. eXistenZ (1999), David Cronenberg.
46. Maelström (2000), Denis Villeneuve.
47. waydowntown (2000), Gary Burns.
48. Krapp’s Last Tape (2000), Atom Egoyan.
49. The Heart Of the World (2000), Guy Maddin.
50. Brakhage (2000), Jim Shedden.
51. Vinyl (2000), Alan Zweig.
52. What These Ashes Wanted (2001), Phil Hoffman.
53. Trains of Winnipeg (2001-2004), Clive Holden.
54. *Corpus Callosum (2002), Michael Snow.
55. Gambling Gods and LSD (2002), Peter Mettler.
56. perhaps/We (2003), Solomon Nagler.
57. c: won eyed jail (2004), Kelly Egan.
58. The Finite (2004), Alexi Manis.
59. Triage (2004), Carl Brown and Michael Snow.
60. Surfacing (2004), Barbara Sternberg.
61. buffalo lifts (2004), Christina Battle.
62. 1000 Plateaus (2004-2012), Steven Woloshen.
63. Blue Monet (2006), Carl Brown.
64. Manufactured Landscapes (2006), Jennifer Baichwal.
65. View of the Falls from the Canadian Side (2006), John Price.
66. Parícutin (2007), Erika Loic.
67. Outside Sarajevo (2007), Ajla Odobasic.
68. The Garden of Earthly Delights (2008), Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof.
69. Spiders in Eden (2008), Ty Tekatch.
70. B. bison (2008), Alex Rogalski.
71. Tattoo Step (2008), Mike Maryniuk.
72. Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis (2009), Daïchi Saïto.
73. Tamalpais (2009), Chris Kennedy.
74. Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands (2009), Peter Mettler.
75. Sugar Beach (2011), Mark Loeser.
76. Markings #1-3 (2011), Eva Kolcze.
77. You Speak My Language (2011), Tom Sherman.
78. Activated Memory I (2011), Sabrina Ratté.
79. Intertidal (2012), Alex Mackenzie.
80. ♥++ (2012), Clint Enns.
81. The Pool (2012), Christine Lucy Latimer.
82. Animated Self-Portraits (2012), Madi Piller.
83. her silent life. (2012), Lindsay McIntyre.
84. Black Rectangle (2013), Rhayne Vermette.
85. The Broken Altar (2013), Mike Rollo.
86. Pepper’s Ghost (2013), Stephen Broomer.
87. House Arrest (2013), Richard Kerr.
88. Citizens Against Basswood (2013), Jaimz and Karen Asmundson.
89. Notes From the Anthropocene (2014), Terra-Jean Long.
90. Axis (2014), John Kneller.
91. Lunar Almanac (2014), Malena Szlam.
92. BROUILLARD – passage #14 (2014), Alexandre Larose.
93. Life and People (2014), Barry Doupé.
94. Self Portrait #1 (2015), Scott Fitzpatrick.
95. Second Sun (2015), Leslie Supnet.
96. Holland, Man. (2015), Aaron Zeghers.
97. Le bulbe tragique (2016), Guillame Vallée.
98. Spectres of Shortwave (2016), Amanda Dawn Christie.
99. Nutag – Homeland (2016), Alisi Telengut. 
100. Relucesco (2016), Shannon Harris.

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